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Throughout the home, there are many plumbing components that help keep sinks and showers operating properly. Many of these parts go unnoticed in day-to-day life. However, when something goes wrong, homeowners quickly discover how many parts make up their plumbing system.
One crucial part of any sink is called a P-trap or sink trap. This plumbing fixture is located underneath the kitchen and bathroom sink and serves an incredibly important purpose. Over the years, a P-trap can become damaged or clogged, at which point it must be cleaned or replaced. In this guide, learn everything you need to know about P-traps, including a step-by-step guide for changing out a P-trap and tips for cleaning sink traps.
A P-trap is a curved drain pipe that is located underneath kitchen and bathroom sinks. P-traps create a U-bend in drain piping. This bend is designed to serve two important purposes. First and foremost, it prevents noxious gases from entering the home. Because a drain pipe is connected to a septic tank or sewer system, all the gases, such as methane, located in this system would be able to enter the home without the unique design of a P-trap.
P-traps also prevent you from losing small items in their septic or sewer systems. When something falls down the drain, such as a ring, it will be trapped in the P-trap. From here, it is much easier to retrieve the item than it would be if the drain pipe led directly into the waste system.
Sink traps can be designed from numerous materials, including PVC, ABS, brass, copper, or chrome. They are available in multiple sizes, designed to fit snugly onto bathroom and kitchen sink drains.
Most P-traps are designed with slip fittings that connect the individual components of the pipe together. This makes it easy to take apart and assemble a P-trap. In some cases, these components might be glued together with solvent or soldered together.
How does one know when it is time to change out a P-trap? There are numerous signs that indicate it might be time to replace a P-trap, including the following:
Replacing a P-trap is generally not complex and can be done as a simple DIY project. Follow these steps to swap out one P-trap with another.